The ransom note, left on the stairway of the Ramsey home, is a real challenge to analyze for two reasons: First, the original note is not , of course, available for scrutiny. Second, the text is printed, rather than written in cursive. The following, however, are some observations I have been able to make after carefully studying a copy of the note.

Read the rest of the note


The writing was deliberately disguised at the start of the note (in an attempt to conceal the writer's true handwriting), but, as the note goes on, the writer lost his concentration and began to write more clearly and more legibly. This provides two clues: his lack of concentration and mind control, and his fear that someone in the family, or police department, would recognize his handwriting. The last page gives us a better analysis of the writer because the writing is not as masked.

Notice the writing change from this portion, in the beginning of the note, to the above, not that much farther down on the page. You can already see a marked change.

There are indications of drug abuse throughout the note, and evidence that the drugs may be wearing off towards the end of the writing. The script is slow and deliberate, pointing to a person who is a slow, methodical thinker— one able to plot a crime like this in advance. The pressure of the writing can not be fully determined since the note was written with a felt tip pen. (Pressure is an indicator of emotional energy.) The slant of the writing varies from letter to letter revealing that the writer's emotions are out of control. The letters of each word are compressed showing that the writer is uncomfortable. The words are widely spaced, indicating he is a loner. The individual letters are round, rather than angular or pointed on top, reinforcing the fact that he a slow thinker, and also indicating a lack of impulsiveness and deliberate aggression. The letters are of low form and very plain showing the writer lacks maturity. The "t's" are crossed low indicating lack of self esteem and low goals. Many of the "t" crossings are concave (bowl shaped) pointing to a person of low morals and shallow thinking. Some of the "t" crossings are arched (convex) indicating the writer is trying very hard to control his emotions. The lower strokes in the lower case "g" indicate a variety of sexual problems. He is easily influenced by anyone of a stronger personality.

He is a sick sociopath and a sexual pervert. He is bisexual (having both masculine and feminine characteristics in his writing). He is not aggressive. (This may sound strange but will be evidenced later.) His crimes fulfill his sexual fantasies and his need for feelings of power over others. He is not stupid.


With the exception of one sentence at the end of the note ("You are not the only fat cat around so don't think that killing will be difficult."), the note is almost perfect. The grammar, spelling and punctuation are nearly precise. I think some errors were made on purpose. He has a good education. There are indications that he is a visual learner (no emphasis in the upper zone). He enjoys reading, and learns by reading and observing. Many of the lower case d's have stems that curve to the left, always an indication of someone interested in poetry.


The note is a product of a fantasy this man has probably played out in his distorted mind a thousand times. It is filled with lines from the movies "Dirty Harry", "Ransom" and "Speed," and follows the plot of one Clint Eastwood movie very closely. Some of the lines are: "The delivery will be very exhausting so I advise you to be well rested."; "If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies."; "Don't try to grow a brain." The note bought him more time to get away, and also helped him live his fantasy out.

The note was his "calling card." Many killers of this type leave some sort of souvenir behind; it's part of the fantasy. When he kills again he will leave a note.

This was not the work of a terrorist group, or of any group. There are easier ways to raise money than breaking into a person's home (while it's inhabited) and kidnaping someone for ransom money. Also, the ransom was a small amount of money for a crime of this type, and it is ridiculous to think that a group would leave a two-and-a-half-page ransom note.

The note contained information only someone close to the family would know. Everyone has read enough news accounts to know that the $118,000 was John Ramsey's bonus for that year, and the letters "S.B.T.C." were the initials for the base in the Philippines that John was stationed at while in the navy. But— the killer knew this before it was made public.

The tone of the note was very personal, and at the end it became even more personal— almost intimate. This is when you realize he knew John well. But, how well did he know John, and how intimate were they?

Check HERE for the continuation of The Ramsy Case analysis.


handwriting analysis- part 1
handwriting analysis- part 2
handwriting analysis- part 3
handwriting analysis- part 4
handwriting analysis- part 5
handwriting analysis- part 6

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Copyright 2006 Gary Thomas. All rights reserved.